Structured Settlement Talk:  ABA Journal's Film Feature Misses One

Structured Settlement Talk: ABA Journal’s Film Feature Misses One

August 4, 2014 – This month’s ABA Journal has a very engaging cover story about lawyers in movies guaranteed to evoke a few good motion picture memories.

Who among us hasn’t borrowed Joe Pesci’s “two Utes” line at least once?

But as much fun as “12 movies with pivotal lessons featuring lawyers” was to read, the magazine omitted one I would have liked to have seen included:

1998’s A Civil Action.

The film recounts the case of Anderson v Cryovac and the ensuing litigation over alleged leukemia-causing water contamination.

There are several important lessons for lawyers contained in this terrific courtroom drama. (“You don’t change your socks in the middle of the World Series.”)

But the scene that caught my structured settlement attention was the one where settlement discussions break down simply because the negotiating lawyers failed to fully appreciate, or even recognize, the dual concepts of present and future value.

So potent is this particular excerpt in dramatizing the subject that it has been a staple of mine for years in structured settlement training seminars I’ve conducted for lawyers and claims professionals.

Rather than recount the important scene itself again for you here, I’ll simply redirect you to an earlier post on the subject where you can can judge for yourself whether or not this film merits inclusion:

Click title: It’s Oscar Time!

If you somehow missed A Civil Action during its initial run, it still holds up very well and I highly recommend it.  Robert Duvall is always hard to beat and you’ll even get to see a pre-Tony Soprano James Gandolfini featured in a prominent role.

Got a favorite movie containing lessons for lawyers you think should be included? We’re always interested in ones we might have missed so be sure to let us hear your thoughts on the subject.


Finn Financial Group